Let’s face it. Valentine’s Day is the cruelest of Hallmark-induced holidays, practically guaranteeing a crappy outcome. Either you’re single and confronted with the perception that there’s something wrong with that, or you’re attached and no matter what you do, it will not be “romantic” enough.
Since romance can be largely attributed to the hormonal rush you feel at the beginning of a relationship, if you’re a few or many years in, you’re basically screwed. Or not screwed, really, since this is a day where the pressure is so high to live up to an imagined standard, it fairly defines the term performance anxiety.
Please allow me to help you navigate this minefield with these handy tips.
1. Size matters. One year my hubby ordered from an 800 number and his order got switched with someone else’s. I got 3 roses delivered to the office while another woman got my 2 dozen. Imagine that guy’s surprise when she called to thank him. Was he psyched not to look like a cheapskate? Did he send her 3 because they’d only slept together once? Did she think he was trying to tell her he was madly in love with her? Was he really just making a friendly gesture? That’s the stuff of sitcoms.
My point is that 3 roses don’t scream “I think you’re hot.” They more likely whisper something like, “Thank you for ignoring my chancre.” Bigger is better, guys. And don’t order from an 800 number. Not ever.
If Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday:
2. Do not turn your gift into more work for your sweetheart. Monday through Thursday, send them in a vase. Otherwise, she’ll have to spend part of her workday locating a vase and sawing at the stems with office shears to cut them to fit it, then cleaning it all up. Work.
If the date falls early in the week, you’re golden. She gets maximum jealousy from her coworkers and they’ll die by Friday—the roses, not the coworkers—so she won’t have to carry them home. Problem solved.
On a Friday afternoon, send them in a box with the little water condoms on them so they won’t dehydrate at her desk. You’ll be making her bring the box home like a UPS guy, but at least she won’t be taking public transit or driving with a sloshing bowl of roses. This is precisely when the flowers stop being a gift and start being a reminder of how thoughtless you are for not foreseeing this problem.
3. You must always send roses. Always. Don’t listen if she tells you not to. Even if she means it, she will feel ripped off. Even if she’s so allergic that she lives in a bubble, she will still want to look at them and touch them through her rubber glove.
4. Do not attach balloons to the bouquet. Although they may look cute on the website, these things should be reserved for invalids in the hospital. And they’ll hate you for them, too. And while we’re on this subject, suffice it to say, the only gift you should give her that comes in a mug is a cup of coffee.
5. Don’t forget the chocolate. Even if she’s diabetic, you will be expected to get her one of those cute little boxes with two truffles so she can have a taste. Hopefully, you’ll remember if she’s diabetic, because nothing ruins a romantic evening like an impromptu coma.
There are additional rules that apply if Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend. Take heed:
6. You must spend the entire day with her. No Xbox, no war porn on the History Channel, no car magazines. Not for one minute. You must stare lovingly into her eyes all day. Don’t think you can get sneaky if she’s blind. She will sense your inattention.
7. Buy her jewelry. You’re in a bind here. It’s unrealistic for her to tote flowers and candy into the office on Monday to show and any tale she tells of a toe-curling weekend of romance will be suspect. (Trust me on this. No one will believe it.) Jewelry is the only proof, so make it good. Remember every carat adds an inch to your wang.
If you don’t have that much scratch and you know her birthstone or favorite color, you can get her something semi-precious and save a bundle. You’ll also look like a hero for being so thoughtful. See how listening when your loved one drones on about herself can benefit you? If not, don’t try to fake it by calling and asking one of her friends. She’ll tell her immediately. We’re bitches.
And here’s one for the ladies:
8. Do not give your man “love coupons.” It may seem cute and sexy to give him things that say stuff like “Good for One Massage with Happy Ending.” In reality, they’ll just sit around until your mother finds them when she comes for a visit…or worse, he’ll try to redeem one and make you feel like a prostitute.
A final tip for everyone:
9. Do things for each other all the time. The saddest thing about this stupid holiday is that it assumes we need a specified day and way to recognize our loved ones. The inference is that we must be directed to appreciate them on one day of the year or we won’t do it at all. Or that we don’t need to. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, even Administrative Professionals Day–aren’t they a little offensive? If we care, don’t we care all the time? If we don’t, then these holidays are all about faking it. No wonder Valentine’s Day sucks so much.
There now, didn’t that sound like an After School Special? I think that’s the name of one of those coupons.
More Valentine’s Day advice:
Pimp Your Vajajay on Valentine’s Day!